The Flying Pirate Half Marathon

Race Name: The Flying Pirate Half Marathon
Distance/Type: Half Marathon
Race Location: Nags Head, NC
Race Date: April 22, 2012 @ 7:00 am

Finish Time: 2:56:50
Finish Place (Age Division): 174/193

I remember right after Christmas last year one day I went home to visit my parents and have dinner. While eating dinner my Dad and I started to flip through the new Runner’s World magazine looking at all the race ads for the upcoming year. As we continued to look, time-after-time again we kept coming back to this race called The Flying Pirate Half Marathon. After we sat down and went over the calendar, we decided that the Flying Pirate would make the cut for 2013!! As we went to register for the Half Marathon we learned about the Flying Pirate Challenge.

The Flying Pirate Challenge is for runners who wish to run the First Flight 5k on Saturday and the Flying Pirate Half Marathon on Sunday. Runners completing the Challenge we get two shirts and three medals!

The morning of the half marathon, Dad and I rolled out of bed at 5:00 am. As we peaked outside we realized the weatherman was right… it was pouring down rain out! We got dressed in our pirate costumes and got ready to head out. We parked at the finish line and took a bus, provided by the race organizers, to the starting line. From the moment we stepped out of our hotel room we were rained on until we got back to our hotel room after the race!

The race course is the first half of the Outer Banks Marathon course. At 7:06 am my wave started and I crossed the starting line in Kitty Hawk, NC! I was able to make it about 3/4 of a mile in my pirate costume before I ended up stripping it off due to the heaviness caused by the rain. After taking off my costume I felt much better and settled into my normal race pace. The first 8 miles went by great! Besides being wet, and I mean soaking wet, the course was nice and flat.

Around the 8.5 mile marker, just as we hit the Wright Brothers Memorial I had a complete mental meltdown. I really no longer wanted to run in the rain and I had to force myself to continue going. After a 1/4 mile of mentally whining to myself I was able to break through the wall and continued to push on.

Two miles down the road, right after the 10 mile marker, we entered the Nags Head Woods Nature Preserve. The running path went from pavement/blacktop to a four foot wide two-track like trail. Since it had been raining all night and day, the well-packed dirt trail was a muddy mess with puddles up your ankles! This continued for the next two miles until we hit the 12 mile maker, where our four foot mud trail turned into a two foot wide narrow trail of mulch winding through the sand dunes! The last 1.1 mile the course turned from flat to major up and down hills with some major elevation changes!

After running for over 2 hours in the pouring rain, running the last 1.1 miles on sand and mulch, up and down massive hills, was extremely challenging. Finally, after like what seemed a life time, you ran up the final step incline and as you came over the top of the hill you could hear the crowd cheering and you could see the finish line at the bottom of the hill!!!

I took off down the hill and the whole time I kept saying to myself, “you’ve ran 3 miles on dirt and mulch do not fall now!!!”. After crossing the finish line I got my Half Marathon and Flying Pirate Challenge, along with a space blanket and bottle of water, and started to head for the car. Along the way I discovered they were giving out the best post-race food I’ve ever had! Egg and Cheese Biscuit sandwiches!!! Talk about delicious!! I grabbed two of them and started wolfing them down as I headed towards the car.

Overall, this race was a beautiful course and was well worth the travel!

The Flying Pirate Half Marathon Medal, The Challenge Medal, the First Flight 5k Medal


2 thoughts on “The Flying Pirate Half Marathon

  1. I just happened on your blog–I too ran the Flying Pirate in 2012 (and will be doing it again this year) and I also felt that “mental breakdown” at the Memorial. I remember thinking how stupid and absurd it was that we were all out running in the rain! LOL!

    • Going down there from Michigan the weather the whole time was a bit of a disappointment! I was really excited to have a beautiful run along the coastline. It was still amazing, but the rain was a big downer. Good luck on this years run!!! Hopefully the weather will be better this year for you!

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